Monday, July 7, 2008
~ Brooke Bennett
12 year-old Brooke Bennett’s funeral will be held at a local Vermont High School this Wednesday. Brooke would have turned 13 on July 12.
June 25 – Brooke was last seen in front of a Cumberland Farms store. A surveillance video from the store showed Brooke and her uncle, Michael Jacques together and then going in separate directions after leaving the store.
June 26 – A search for Brooke is begun.
June 29 – Michael Jacques is arrested for sexual assault of a minor, not linked to this case. Jacques is a known sex offender and has served time in prison.
In 1993, he was sentenced to six to twenty years after being convicted of kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman. He completed the state's sex offender treatment program in 2000 and was released from probation in 2006.
July 1 – Ray Gagnon, Brooke’s stepfather is arrested for obstruction of justice in the case. He previously has been connected to sexual assaults on minors.
July 2 – Brooke’s body is found in a shallow grave, on mile from Jacques house.
Jacques is formally charged with kidnapping by the Feds, a charge that could carry the death penalty, depending on how Brooke died.
Autopsy results are expected this week.
The affidavit against Jacques is quite disturbing.
Horrific details just keep being uncovered in this case.
Jacques is married to Bennett's mother's sister, Denise.
Police said Jacques and a cousin of Brooke's, dropped the girl at Cumberland Farms.
Brooke’s cousin is referred to as Juvenile 1 in court papers.
In emails to the girl discussing initiating Brooke into the sex ring, Jacques asks if she is willing to help dad – even hold her down if she has to.
So, the 14 year-old who told police of sexual abuse by Jacques is Brooke’s cousin – is Jacques her father?
Two days before Brooke’s disappearance, Juvenile 1 was instructed to have her boyfriend ejaculate on her stomach and wipe up the semen with a “clean, plain” handkerchief and place it in a plastic sandwich bag, seal it up and hide it.
A semen-stained handkerchief was found near Brooke’s torn underpants the day after her disappearance.
According to the affidavit, a post to Brooke’s MySpace page was made from Jacques’ laptop computer at 11:40 p.m. June 24 — almost 10 hours before Brooke was last seen at the convenience store. The post was edited from the same computer 15 minutes later and again 10:36 p.m. June 25 — about 90 minutes after her family reporter her missing.
“During this last log in, the time of the posting was manually changed to June 25, 2008, at 7:46 a.m.” The post suggests Brooke intended to meet an unnamed person for the purpose of a sexual liaison and that she planned to run away to Texas.
“My mom will kill me, but then I’m going 2 Texas and she will get over it,” the post said.
Law enforcement believes this posting was made to make it appear Bennett was abducted by someone she met or communicated with on the internet.
Now onto Gagnon –
Brooke’s MySpace page was accessed at 11:18 p.m. and 11:25 p.m. on June 25 from a computer at the home Gagnon. He told police that Jacques gave him the user name and password June 25 and that Gagnon logged in and changed the user name and password.
Gagnon told law enforcement that in June 2007 he and Jacques “engaged in sex with Juvenile 1.”
Gagnon said Jacques sent him digital photos of Juvenile 1 and her boyfriend “engaged in sexual acts” and that Gagnon stored those photos in a safe.
Gagnon admitted he has downloaded a vast amount of child pornography from the Internet, including images of children as young as 5 and that he stores the images on his laptop computer.
Gagnon rents a room in a house in San Antonio owned by Kevin Grosenheider. Allegedly, Gagnon called Grosenheider and told him to throw out a safe that contained the laptop. Police have not yet found the safe which was thrown into a dumpster.
Jacques cell phone shows between 9:26pm 6/25, (shortly after Bennett is reported missing) 4 calls were made to Gagnon's cell phone.
An hour later at 12:24am on 6/26, (lasting 23 minutes) and another at 12:59am lasting 24 minutes.
Where the hell is Brooke's mother in all this? She knew Jacques was a known sex offender!
If Brooke's short life - so violently and abruptly ended - doesn't light a fire under the Vermont legislature to change the despicably lenient sex offender laws…heaven help all of the children living in Vermont!